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1. The subject and aim of lexicology. The branches of lexicology.

Lexicology is a branch of linguistics, it is study of words.

The term is composed of two Greek morphemes: logos – learning, Lexus – word, phrase. Thus the literal meaning of the term is the science of the word.

LG is a branch of linguistics and has its own aims and methods of scientific research. Its basic task is to study and descript systematically the vocabulary in respect to its origin, development and current use.

LG is concerned with words, variable workgroups, phrasiological units and with morphemes. Modern English LG investigates the problems of word structure and word formation in modern English.

The semantic structure of English words, the main principles underline the classification of vocabulary units into various groupings, the laws, governing, and the development of the vocabulary.

It also studies the variation, existing between various lexical layers of the English vocabulary and the specific laws and regulations that govern its development at the present time. The source and the growth of the EV and the changes.


The General LG – the general study of words and vocabulary. Linguistic phenomena and properties common to all languages are generally referred as language universals.

The Special LG – is the LG of a particular language. That’s the study of and description of its vocabulary and vocabulary units.

The Historical LG – the evolution of any vocabulary. It discusses the origin of various words, their change and development, investigates linguistics and extra linguistics forces. The object - its single elements, modifying their structure, meaning and usage.

^ The Contrastive and Comparative LG - their aims are to study the correlation between the vocabularies of 2 or more languages and find out the correspondences between the vocabulary units.

The descriptive LG – deals with the vocabulary of a given language at a given stage of its development.

LG also studies all kinds of semantic grouping and semantic relations such as synonymy, antonymy, homonymy, semantic fields. Meaning relations as a whole are dealed within semantics – the Study of meaning.

There are two principal approaches in linguistic science to the study of language material:

  • ^ The synchronic (historical). Concerned with the study and description of a language system at a certain time.

  • The diachronic. Deals with the changes and the development of the vocabulary on the course of time.

The two approaches are interconnected and interdependent. The synchronic state of a language is the result of a long process of linguistic evolution of its historical development.

Eg: to bag – bagger (closely connected with the history, bagger is borrowed from Old French).

^ LG and other branches of science

LG and Phonetics. A word is then association of a given group of sounds with the given meaning (tip-top). A word unity is conditioned by a number of phonological units. Phonemes follow each other in a fixed sequence (tip-top)/ the discrimination between words may be based upon stress (‘im’port). Stress also distinguishes compounds from homonymies of the group (blackbird – black bird). Ph-cs helps in the studying of synonyms, homonyms, polysemy.

^ LG and Stylistics. The problem of meaning, connotations, synonymy, functional differention of the vocabulary according to the sphere of communication and some issues.

LG and Grammar are connected in the object of their study. Even isolated words bare a definite relation to the grammatical system, because they belong to some part of speech & conform to some lexical, grammatical characteristics of the word class to which they belong. The ties between lexicology and grammar are particularly strong in the sphere of word formation. The characteristic features of English word building, the morphological structure of the English word are depended on the peculiarity of the grammatical system.

^ LG and Social Linguistics SL is the branch of Linguistics dealing with the causal relations between the way a word develops and facts of social life. The changes of the language are due to the linguistic and extra linguistic courses, or to a combination of both. Biocomputer – компьютер, имитирующий НС живых организмов.

2. The English Vocabulary.

There are different principles underlining the grouping words.

1. according to their morphological structure.

2. to the type of morphemes. This is the basic division of LG.

3. word-families (can be grouped according to a common root, affix, prefix…)

4. Grouping – notional and form words. Words can be divided into part of speech, can be further subdivided into lex-grammatical group which a common lexical-grammatical meaning and common paradigm. They have the same substitute elements: nouns can be personal, names, proper names, etc.

5. emotionally collored and emotionally neutral words.

6. etymological structure. From the point of view of etymology, English vocabulary can be divided into 2 parts: 70% of borrowings in English language, 30% of native words. Borrowings usually take place under 2 circumstances: 1) when people have a direct contact with another people; 2) when there is a cultural need to borrow a word from another languages.


Latin borrowings: they are divided into 3 periods:

1) 5 century, words are connected with trade (pound, inch, kitchen, wall, port);

2) The time of Christianity, words are connected with religion (Latin words: alter, cross, dean; Greek words: church, angel, devil, anthem);

3) Time of renaissance, words were borrowed after great vowel shift (17 century) (item, superior, zoology, memorandum, vice versa, AM, PM).

French: the largest group of borrowings is French borrowings. Most of them came into English during the Norman Conquest. Normans belong to the race of scand. origin but during their residence in Normandy they had given up the native language and adopted the French dialect. During 3 centuries after the Norman Conquest French was the language of the court, of the nobility. There are following semantic groups of French borrowings:

1) words relating to government (administer, empire, state);

2) ~military affairs (army, war, battle);

3) ~jurisprudence (advocate, petition, sentence);

4) ~fashion (luxury, coat, collar);

5)~jewelry (topaz, pearl);

6)~ food and cooking (lunch, cuisine, menu);

7)~literature and music (pirouette, ballet).

Italian: cultural and trade relations between England and Italy in the epoch of renaissance brought in many Italian words:

1) musical terms: concert, solo, opera, piano, trio;

2) political terms: manifesto;

3) geological terms: volcano, lava.

Among the 20th century Italian borrowings, we can mention: incognito, fiasco, and graffiti.

Spanish: a large number of such words was penetrated in English vocabulary in 1588 when Phillip 2 sent a fleet of armed ships against England (armada, ambuscade); trade terms: cargo, embargo; names of dances and musical instruments: tango, rumba, guitar; names of vegetables and fruits: tomato, tobacco, banana, ananas.


Scandinavian: By the end of the Old English period English underwent a strong influence of Scandinavian due to the Scandinavian conquest of the British Isles. As a result of this conquest there are about 700 borrowings from Scandinavian into English (pronouns: they, them, their; verbs: to call, to want, to die; adj: flat, ill, happy; noun: cake, egg, knife, window. German: in the period of Second World War such words were borrowed as: luftwaffe (возд. авиация); bundeswehr (вооруженные силы ФРГ). After the Second World War the following words were borrowed: Volkswagen, berufsverbot (запрет на профессию (в ФРГ)), and some other words (cobalt, wolfram, iceberg, rucksack). Dutch: Holland and England have had constant interrelations for many centuries and more then 2000 Dutch words were borrowed into English. Many of them are nautical terms and were mainly borrowed in the 14th century, such as: skipper, pump, keel, dock; and some words from everyday life: luck, brandy, and boss. Russian: Among early Russian borrowings there are mainly words connected with trade relations, such as: rubble, kopeck, sterlet, vodka, and words relating to nature: taiga, tundra, steppe. After the October revolution many new words appeared in Russia, connected with the new political system, new culture, and many of them were borrowed into English: collectivization, udarnik, Komsomol and also translation loans: five-year plan, collective farm. One more group of Russian borrowings is connected with perestroika, suck as: glasnost, nomenclature, and apparatchik.

^ Native words are divided into 3 basic groups:

1) The words which have cognates (words of the same etymological root, of common origin) in many Indo-European languages. For ex: family relations: father (Vater), mother, daughter, son; parts of human body: foot, heart, nose; wolf, cow, cat; numerous verbs: stand, sit; the numerals from 1 to 100; heavenly bodies: sun, moon, star.

2) The words, which have cognates with words of the language of the Germanic group. Some of the main groups of Germanic words are the same as in the I-E group/ For ex: parts of human body: head, hand, arm, finger; animals: bear, fox; natural phenomena: rain, frost; human dwellings and furniture: house, bench; adj: green, blue, old, good, small, high; verbs: see, hear, tell, say, drink, give.

3) the English element proper. Ex.: bird, boy, girl, woman, lord, always. Assimilation – the process of adaptation phonetic, gram. and semantic features of language. 3 basic types: phonetical – sounds are adopted; grammatical – when a borrowed word occurs (спутник); semantic – connected with the meaning of the word.
International words.

It is often the case that a word is borrowed by several languages and not just by one. Such words usually convey concepts, which are significant in the field of communication. Many of them are of Latin and Greek origin. Most names of sciences are international, e.g. philosophy, chemistry, biology; sports terms: football, baseball, tennis; foodstuffs and fruits imported from exotic countries: coffee, chocolate, banana, grapefruit; clothing: pullover, shorts.

^ Etymological doublets – are pairs of words, which have one and the same original form, but which have acquired different forms and even different meanings during the course of linguistic development. Ex: the words shirt and skirt etymologically descend from the same root. Shirt is a native word, skirt is a Scandinavian borrowings. Their phonetic shape is different, and yet there is a certain resemblance, which reflects their common origin. Their meanings are also different but easily associated: they both denote articles of clothing. Etymological triplets (groups of three words of common root) – hospital (Lat) – hostel (Norm. Fr) – hotel (Par. Fr).

Translation-Loans. This term is equivalent to borrowing. They are not taken into the vocabulary of another language more or less in the same phonetic shape in which they have been functioning in their own language, but undergo the process of translation. It is obvious that it is only compound words, which can be subjected to such an operation, each stem being translated separately. Ex: collective farm (колхоз); wonder child (Wunderkind); five-year plan (пятилетка)

3. The meaning of the word.

The meaning of the word is made up of the grammatical and lexical meaning.

GM is the component of meaning, recurrent in identical sects of individual forms of different words. Eg.: the tense meaning in the word forms “asked, thought, worked”, or the case meaning in the word forms of various nouns “girls-boys”, so the GM unites words in the big groups such as parts of speech or lexical grammatical clauses.

LM (semantical component) comparing word forms of one word we observe that LM is indentical in all forms of the words. Eg.: the word forms “go, goes, went, going, gone” possess different GM of tense, person..., but one and the same component denoting the process of movement.

^ Lexical denotational and connotational component.

The denotational meaning makes communication possible. It partially and incompletely describes the meaning of the corresponding words, to give >< full picture of the meaning of the word.

Lonely adj – alone without company

Notorious adj – widely known

Celebrated -^-

To glare – to look

To glance -^-

^ The connotational component denotes supplementary meaning or complementary semantic/ stylistic shape, which services to express all sorts of emotional expressive evaluative overtone.

So, many words not only refer to some object but have aura of associations expressing the attitude of the speaker. Connotation is what the word conveys about the speakers attitude to the social circumstances and the appropriate functional style.

Lonely adj – melancholic\sad

Notorious adj – criminal acts

Celebrated - special achievement in smth

To glare – to look steadily\ in anger

To glance – to look briefly/ passionly

^ The 4 main types of connotation

  1. Stylistic. When association concern the situation in which the word is uttered the social circumstances (formal, familiar…), the social relationships between the interlocutors (polite, rough…), the type of purpose of communication (poetic, official…) Eg.: horse - neutral, steed – poetic, nag – slang, geegee – baby l-ge.

  2. Emotional. Is acquired by the word as a result of its frequent use in context corresponding to emotional situation or cause the R-nt is associated with emotions.

  3. Evaluative. Expresses approval\ disapproval.

  4. Expressive\ intensifying.

Componential Analysis

Denotational meaning is segmented into semantic components (semes). In terms of CA the meaning of a word is defined as a set of elements of meaning which are not part of the vocabulary of the language itself, but rather theoretical elements postulated in order to describe the semantic relations between the lexical elements of a given language.




The meanings of first words and the second have smth in common. This distinctive picture we call semantic component or seme. In this case the distinctive feature is of sex: male/female.

Another possible correlation is man-boy, woman-girl. (Age: adult/ non adult).

^ Man-woman” – “Bull-cow”. (Human and animal being).

So CA is an attempt to describe the meaning of words in terms of a universal inventory of semes and their possible combinations.

4. Morphological structure of a word

Word is the principal and basic unit of the language system, the largest on the morphologic and the smallest on the syntactic plane of linguistic analysis.

According to the number of morphemes words can be classified into monomorphic and polymorphic. Monomorphic or root-words consist of only one root-morpheme, e.g. small, dog, make, give, etc. All polymorphic word fall into two subgroups: derived words and compound words – according to the number of root-morphemes they have. Derived words are composed of one root-morpheme and one or more derivational morphemes, e.g. acceptable, outdo, disagreeable, etc. Compound words are those which contain at least two root-morphemes, the number of derivational morphemes being insignificant.

There can be both root- and derivational morphemes in compounds as in pen-holder, light-mindedness, or only root-morphemes as in lamp-shade, eye-ball, etc.

The term morpheme is derived from Greek morphe “form ”+ -eme. The Greek suffix –eme has been adopted by linguistic to denote the smallest unit or the minimum distinctive feature.

The morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit of form. A form in these cases a recurring discrete unit of speech. Morphemes occur in speech only as constituent parts of words, not independently, although a word may consist of single morpheme.

^ The root-morpheme is the lexical nucleus of the word; it has a very general and abstract lexical meaning common to a set of semantically related words constituting one word-cluster, e.g. (to) teach, teacher, teaching. Besides the lexical meaning root-morphemes possess all other types of meaning proper to morphemes except the part-of-speech meaning which is not found in roots.

^ Affixational morphemes include inflectional affixes or inflections and derivational affixes. Inflections carry only grammatical meaning and are thus relevant only for the formation of word-forms. Derivational affixes are relevant for building various types of words. They are lexically always dependent on the root which they modify. They possess the same types of meaning as found in roots, most of them have the part-of-speech meaning which makes them structurally the important part of the word as they condition the lexico-grammatical class the word belongs to. Due to this component of their meaning the derivational affixes are classified into affixes building different parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives or adverbs.

Roots and derivational affixes are generally easily distinguished and the difference between them is clearly felt as, e.g., in the words helpless, handy, blackness, Londoner, refill, etc.: the root-morphemes help-, hand-, black-, London-, fill-, are understood as the lexical centers of the words, and less, -y, -ness, -er, re- are felt as morphemes dependent on these roots.

Distinction is also made of free and bound morphemes.

Free morphemes coincide with word-forms of independently functioning words. It is obvious that free morphemes can be found only among roots, so the morpheme boy- in the word boy is a free morpheme; in the word undesirable there is only one free morpheme desire-; the word pen-holder has two free morphemes pen- and hold-. It follows that bound morphemes are those that do not coincide with separate word- forms, consequently all derivational morphemes, such as –ness, -able, -er are bound. Root-morphemes may be both free and bound. The morphemes theor- in the words theory, theoretical, or horr- in the words horror, horrible, horrify; Angl- in Anglo-Saxon; Afr- in Afro-Asian are all bound roots as there are no identical word-forms.

The stem is defined as that part of the word which remains unchanged throughout its paradigm, thus the stem which appears in the paradigm (to) ask ( ), asks, asked, asking is ask-; the stem of the word singer ( ), singer’s, singers, singers’ is singer-. It is the stem of the word that takes the inflections which shape the word grammatically as one or another part of speech.

^ Simple stems are semantically non-motivated and do not constitute a pattern on analogy with which new stems may be modeled. Simple stems are generally monomorphic and phonetically identical with the root morpheme. Retain, receive, horrible, pocket, motion, etc. should be regarded as simple, non- motivated stems.

Derived stems – root and derivational affix.

Compound stems are made up of two IC’s, both of which are themselves stems, for example match-box, driving-suit, pen-holder, etc. It is built by joining of two stems, one of which is simple, the other derived.

Bound stem – is not harmonious to a separate word.

To study the motivation of the word the method of immediate ultimate consistent is used. It is based on bannery opposition – each state of segmentation involves 2 components words brake into.

5. Word formation (словообразование)

It’s a process of creating new words from material available in the language after a certain structural and semantic formulas and pattern, forming words by combining root & affix morphemes.

^ 2 types of word formation:

1) Compounding (словосложение)

2) Word – derivation

Within the types further distinction may be made between the ways of forming words. The basic way of forming words is word-derivation affixation and conversion apart from this shortening and a number of minor ways of formal words such as back-forming, blending, sound imitation are traditionally referred to formation.

^ Different types of word formation:

Affixation is the formation of new words by means of suffixes and prefixes to stems\basis.

Affixes may be grouped

1) according to their linguistic origin. We distinguish affixes of Germanic origin (full, less), of Romanic origin (ion), of Greek origin (ise, izm);

2) according to the parts of speech. We distinguish noun forming, adj. forming and verb forming affixes;

3) according to semantic functions. They may denote persons, quality, negation. Many suffixes originated from separate words: hood originated for the noun hood, which meant state or condition; full – полный (adj. In O.E) now it is suffix. Suffixes may change the part of speech: critic (al).

All suffixes are divided into lexical and grammatical.

Lexical suffixes build new word. Productive affixes. For ex: read-readable, happy-happiness, act-actor.

Grammatical suffixes change the grammatical form of a word. Often used to create neologisms and nonce-words (I don’t like Sunday evenings: I feel so mondayish). For ex: finish-finished, say-says, rose-roses.

^ Some productive suffixes:

Noun forming – er, ing, is, ist, ance

Adj – forming – y, ish, ed, able, less

Adv – forming – ly

Verb – forming - Ize, /ise, ate

Prefixies - Un, die, re

Conversion (zero derivation) it is one of the major ways of enriching EV & referrers to the numerous cases of phonetic identity of word forms of 2 words belonging to different part of speech.. The new word has a meaning which differs from that of original one though it can >< be associated with it. nurse (noun) to nurse – to feed

A certain stem is used for the formation of a categorically different word without a derivative element being added.

Bag – to bag, Back – to back , Bottle – to bottle This specific pattern is very productive in English

The most popular types are noun →verb or verb→noun To take off – a take off

Conversion can be total or partial. Partial: the then president (тогдашний). An adverb is used as an adjective, only in this particular context. Total: work – to work

Conversion may be the result of shading of English endings. The historical changes may be briefly outlined as follows: in O.E. a verb and a noun of the same root were distinguished by their endings. For ex: the verb ‘to love’ had a form (Old Eng.) ‘lufian’. This verb had personal conjunctions. The noun ‘love’ had the form ‘lufu’ with different case endings. But in the course of time, the personal and case endings were lost. There are numerous pairs of words (e. g. love, n. — to love, v.; work, n. — to work, v.; drink, n. — to drink, v., etc.) which did, not occur due to conversion but coincided as a result of certain historical processes (dropping of endings, simplification of stems) when before that they had different forms (e. g. O. E. lufu, n. — lufian, v.).

The two categories of parts of speech especially affected by conversion are nouns and verbs. Verbs made from nouns are the most numerous amongst the words produced by conversion: e. g. to hand, to back, to face, to eye, to mouth, to nose, to dog, to wolf, to monkey, to can, to coal, to stage, to screen, to room, to floor, to blackmail, to blacklist, to honeymoon, and very many others.

Nouns are frequently made from verbs: do (e. g. ^ This is the queerest do I''ve ever come across. Do — event, incident), go (e. g. He has still plenty of go at his age. Go — energy), make, run, find, catch, cut, walk, worry, show, move, etc. Verbs can also be made from adjectives: to pale, to yellow, to cool, to grey, to rough (e. g. We decided to rough it in the tents as the weather was warm), etc.

Other parts of speech are not entirely unsusceptible to conversion as the following examples show: to down, to out (as in a newspaper heading Diplomatist Outed from Budapest), the ups and downs, the ins and outs, like, n, (as in the like of me and the like of you).

^ Compounding & word comparison. Compound words are made of 2 derivational stems. The types of structure of CW: neutral, morphological &syntactic.

In neutral compound the process is released without any linking elements sunflower. There are three types of neutral compounds simple compounds went a compound consist of a simple affixes stems.

^ Derivate/ derivational compound - has affixes babysitter.

Contracted – has a shorten stems. TV-set

Morphological C few in number. This type is non productive. Represented by words, where 2 stems are combined by a linking vowel/ consonant Anglo-Saxon, statesman, craftsmanship.

Syntactic C – formed of segments of speech preserving articles, prepositions, adverbs. Mother-in-law

Reduplication. New word are made by stem ether without any phonetic changes ^ Bye-Bye or variation of a root vowel or consonant ping-pong

Shortening. There are 2 ways of producing them:

1. The word is formed from the syllable of the original word which in term may loose its beginning –phone, its ending vac (vacation) or both fridge.

2. The word is formed from the initial letter of a word group BB, bf – boyfriend. Acronyms are shorten words but read as one UNO [ju:nou]


Sound imitation – words are made by imitating different links of sounds that may be produced by animals, birds…bark – лаять, mew – мяукатьsome names of animals, birds & insects are made by SI coo-coo – кукушка, crow – ворона.

To glide, to slip are supposed to convey the very sound of the smooth easy movement over a slippery surface.

Back formation a verb is produced from a noun by subtraction (вычитание) bagger – to bag, babysitter – to babysit

Blending - Is blending part of two words to form one word (merging into one word), combining letters/sounds they have in common as a connecting element. ^ Smoke + fog = smog, Breakfast + lunch = brunch, Smoke + haze = smaze (дымка)

- addictive type: they are transformable into a phrase consisting of two words combined by a conjunction “and” smog → smoke & fog

- blending of restrictive type: transformable into an attributive phrase, where the first element serves as modifier of a second. ^ Positron – positive electron, Medicare – medical care

Borrowings. Contemporary English is a unique mixture of Germanic & Romanic elements. This mixing has resulted in the international character of the vocabulary. In the comparison with other languages English possesses great richness of vocabulary.

All languages are mixtures to a greater or lesser extent, but the present day English vocabulary is unique in this respect.

A brief look on various historical strata of the English vocabulary:

1) through cultural contacts with Romans partly already on the continent and all through the influence of Christianity a very early stratum of Latin-Greek words entered the language.

Their origin is no longer felt by the normal speaker today in such word: pound, mint, mustard, school, dish, chin, cleric, cheese, devil, pepper, street, gospel, bishop.

The same can be said about some Scandinavian words (from about the 10th century) that today belong to the central core of the vocabulary.

It means that their frequency is very high. ^ They, their, them, sky, skin, skill, skirt, ill, dies, take... They partly supersede the number of OE words OE heofon – heaven (sky) Niman – take Steorfan – die

A more radical change & profound influence on the English vocabulary occurred on 1066 (Norman Conquest). Until the 15th cent., a great number of French words were adopted. They belong to the areas of court, church, law, state.

^ Virtue, religion, parliament, justice, noble, beauty, preach, honour...

The influx of the words was the strongest up to the 15th cent., but continued up to the 17th cent.

Many French borrowings retained their original pronunciation & stress

^ Champagne, ballet, machine, garage...

Separate, attitude, constitute, introduce...

Adjectives in English – arrogant, important, patient

Sometimes with their derivatives:

Demonstrative – demonstration

Separate – separation

17-18 cc. due to the establishing of cultural, trade relations many words were borrowed from Italian, Spanish, Dutch, French.

Italian: libretto, violin, opera

Spanish: hurricane, tomato, tobacco

Dutch: yacht, dog, landscape

French: bouquet, buffet

From the point of view of their etymology formal words are normally of classical Romanic origin, informal – Anglo-Saxon.

Nowadays many Americanisms become familiar due to the increase of transatlantic travel & the influence of broadcast media.

Even in London (Heathrow airport) “baggage” instead of “luggage”

The present day English vocabulary is from being homogeneous.

6. Neologisms new word expressions are created for new things irrespective of their scale of importance. They may be all important and concern some social relationships (new form/ state)^ People’s republic. Or smth threatening the very existence of humanity nuclear war or the thing may be short lived. N is a newly coined word, phrase/ a new meaning for an existing word / a word borrowed from another language.

The development of science and industry technology: black hole, internet, supermarket.

The adaptive lexical system isn’t only adding new units but readjust the ways & means of word formation radio detection and ranging – RADAR

The lex. System may adopt itself by combining several word-building processes face-out (noun) – the radioactive dust descending through the air after an anatomic explosion. This word was coined by composition/ compounding & conversion.

^ Teach –in (n) –a student conference/ series of seminars on some burning issue of the day, meaning some demonstration on protest. This pattern is very frequent lis–in , due-in means protest demonstration when fluking traffic. Bionies – the combination of bio & electron.

Back formation: air-condion – air-conditioner – air-conditioning

Semi-affixes (могут быть как самостоятельные слова) chairman used to be not numerous and might be treated as exceptions now, evolving into separate set.

Some N abscessed with smth and containing the elements mad & happy: powermad, moneymad, auto-happy.

Conversion, composition, semantic change are in constant use when coining N

The change of meaning rather an introduction of a new additional meaning may be illustrated by the word NETWORK – stations for simultaneous broadcast of the same program.

Once accepted N may become a basis for further word formation. ^ ZIP – to zip – zipper – zippy.

The lex. System is unadaptive system, developing for many centuries and reflecting the changing needs, servicing only in special context. Archaism & historisms.

Archaism – once common but are now replaced by synonyms. Mostly they are poetic: morn – arch, morning – new word, hapless – arch, unlucky – modern.

Historism – when the causes of the word’s disappearance are extralinguistic, eg. The thing named is no longer used. They are very numerous as names for social relations, institutions, objects of material culture of the past, eg. many types of sailing craft belong to the past: caravels, galleons.A great many of H denotes various types of weapons in historical novels: blunderbuss - мушкетер, breastplate. Many of them are in Voc in some figurative meaning: shiel – щит, sword. – меч.

7. Homonymy. Different in meaning, but identical in sound or spelling form


1. The result of split of polysemy capital – столица, заглавная буква

Homonymy differs from polysemy because there is no semantic bond (связь) between homonyms; it has been lost & doesn’t exist.

2. as the result of leveling of grammar in flections, when different parts of speech become identical in their forms. Care (in OE) - caru(n), care (OE) – carian (v)

3. By conversion slim – to slim, water – to water

4. With the help of the same suffix fro the same stem. Reader – the person who reads/a book for reading.

5. Accidentally. Native words can coincide in their form beran – to bear, bera (animal) – to bear

6. Shortening of different words. Cab (cabriolet, cabbage, cabin)

Homonyms can be of 3 kinds:

1. Homonyms proper (the sound & the spelling are identical) bat – bat - flying animal (летучая мышь) - cricket bat (бита, back - part of body, away from the front, go to back

2. Homophones (the same sound form but different spelling) flower – flour, sole – soul, rain – reign, bye-by-buy

3. Homographs (the same spelling) tear [iə] – tear [εə, lead [i:] – lead [e]

Homonyms in English are very numerous. Oxford English Dictionary registers 2540 homonyms, of which 89% are monosyllabic words and 9,1% are two-syllable words.

So, most homonyms are monosyllabic words. The trend towards monosyllabism, greatly increased by the loss of inflections and shortening, must have contributed much toward increasing the number of homonyms in English.

Among the other ways of creating homonyms the following processes must be mentioned:

From the viewpoint of their origin homonyms are sometimes divided into historical and etymological. Historical homonyms are those which result from the breaking up of polysemy; then one polysemantic word will split up into two or more separate words. Etymo1ogiсal homonyms are words of different origin which come to be alike in sound or in spelling (and may be both written and pronounced alike).

Borrowed and native words can coincide in form, thus producing homonyms (as in the above given examples). In other cases homonyms are a result of borrowing when several different words become identical in sound or spelling. E.g. the Latin vitim - "wrong", "an immoral habit" has given the English vice - вада "evil conduct"; the Latin vitis -"spiral" has given the English ''vice" - тиски "apparatus with strong jaws in which things can be hold tightly"; the Latin vice - "instead of", "in place of" will be found in vice - president.

8. Synonymy.

A synonym – a word of similar or identical meaning to one or more words in the same language. All languages contain synonyms but in English they exist in superabundance. There no two absolutely identical words because connotations, ways of usage, frequency of an occurrence are different. Senses of synonyms are identical in respect of central semantic trades (denotational meaning) but differ in respect of minor semantic trades (connotational). In each group of S there’s a word with the most general meaning, with can substitute any word of the group. TO LOOK AT - to glance – to stare


Weather the different in denotational/ connotational component

1. Ideographic synonyms. They bear the same idea but not identical in their referential content, different shades of meaning or degree. ^ BEAUTIFUL – fine, handsome – pretty, to ascent – to mount – to climb.

2. Stylistic synonyms. Different in emotive and stylistic sphere.











To die

To kick the bucket

Eat - Devour (degradation), Face - muzzle (морда)

Synonymic condensation is typical of the English language.

It refers to situations when writers or speakers bring together several words with one & the same meaning to add more conviction, to description more vivid. Ex.: Lord & master, First & foremost, Safe & secure, Stress & strain, by force & violence

Among synonyms there’s a special group of words – euphemism used to substitute some unpleasant or offensive words. Drunk – marry

According to interchangability context S are classified

3. ^ Total synonyms An extremely rare occurrence. Ulman: “a luxury that language can hardly afford.” M. Breal spoke about a law of distribution in the language (words should be synonyms, were synonyms in the past usually acquire different meanings and are no longer interchangeable). Ex.: fatherland - motherland

4. ^ Contextual synonyms. Context can emphasize some certain semantic trades & suppress other semantic trades; words with different meaning can become synonyms in a certain context. Ex.: tasteless – dull, Active – curious, Curious – responsive

Synonyms can reflect social conventions.








Only speaking about younger people by older people

Is not used by the higher educated people

Positive connotation



5. ^ Dialectical synonyms. Ex.: lift – elevator, Queue – line, autumn – fall

6. Relative some authors classify group like: like – love – adore, famous- celebrated – eminentthey denote different degree of the same notion or different shades of meanings and can be substituted only in some context.

Antonymy. Words belonging to the same part of speech identical in speech expressing contrary or contradictory notion.

Комиссаров В.Н. classify them into absolute/ root (late/early)they have different roots , derivational (to please-to displease) the same root but different affixes. In most cases “-“ prefixes from antonyms an, dis, non. Sometimes they are formed by suffixes full & less. But they do not always substitute each other selfless – selfish, successful – unsuccessful .the same with “-“ prefixes to appoint – to disappoint.

The difference is not only in structure but in semantic. The ^ DA express contradictory notions, one of then excludes the other active – inactive. The AA express contrary notion: ugly – plain – good-looking – pretty – beautiful

Antonimy is distinguished from complementarily by being based on different logical relationshipd for pairs of antonyms like good – bad, big – small. He is good (not bad). He is not good (doesn’t imply he is bad). The negation (отрицание) of one term doesn’t implies the assertion of the other.

John Lines suggests proper hot-warm – tapped – cold & complementary antonyms only 2 words negative and assertion not male - female.

There’s also one type of semantic opposition conversives words denote one reference as viewed from different points of view that of the subject & that of the object. Bye – sell, give - receive

Conversness is minor image relations of functions husband – wife, pupil – teacher, above – below, before - after

9. Phraseology. Phrasiological units/ idioms – motivated word group. They are reproduced as readymade units. Express a singe notion, used in sentence as one part of it.

Idiomaticy - PU when the meaning of the whole is not deducible from the sum of the meanings of the parts. Stability of PU implies that it exist as a readymade linguistic unit, which doesn’t allow of any variability of its lexical component of gr. Structure.

In ling. literature the term Phraseology is used for the expressions where the meaning of one element is depended on the other. Vinogradov: “irrespective of structure and properties of the units”. Smernitsky: “it denotes only such set expressions which do not possess expressiveness or emotional coloring”. Arnold: “it says that only denotes such set expressions that are imaginative, expressive and emotional”. Ammosova call them fixed context units – we can’t substitute an element without changing the meaning of the whole. Ahmanova insists on the semantic intearity of such phrases: “prevailing over the structural separates of their element”. Kuning lays stress on the structural separatness of the elements in the PU on the change of meaning in the whole as compared with its elements taken separately with its elements and on a certain minimum stability.

Phraseology (Webster’s dictionary) mode of expression peculiarities of diction. That is choice and arrangement of words and phrases characteristic of some author.there are difficult terms. Idioms word equivalents & these difficult units or terminology reflects certain differences in the main criteria used to distinguish.

The features: 1. lack of semantic motivation 2. Lexical & grammatical stability

Semantic classification:2 criteria: 1). The degree of semantic isolation 2). The degree of disinformation

1. Opaque in meaning (трудный для понимания) the meaning of the individual words can’t be summed together to produce the meaning of the whole.to kick the bucket = to die It contains no clue to the idiomatic meaning of this expression.The degree of semantic isolation is the highest.

The 3 typesof PU:

1. Phraseological fusions. The degree of motivation is very low. one component preserves its direct meaning Ex.: to pass the buck = to pass responsibility – свалить ответственность,

2. Phraseological unities. Clearly motivated. Transparent both components in their direct meaning but the combination acquires figurative sense to see the light = to understand, old salt - морской волк

3. Phraseological combinations. There is a component used in its direct meaning. There are lots of idioms (proverbs, saying). To be good at smth.: Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back Idioms institutionalized formulas of politeness:How do you do?Good-bye (God be with you) How about a drink?

^ Structural classification of PU

Prof. A.I. Smirnitsky worked out structural classification of phraseological units, comparing them with words. He points out one-top units which he compares with derived words because derived words have only one root morpheme. He points out two-top units which he compares with compound words because in compound words we usually have two root morphemes.

^ Among one-top units he points out three structural types;

a) units of the type «to give up» (verb + postposition type), e.g. to art up, to back up, to drop out, to nose out, to buy into, to sandwich in etc.;

b) units of the type «to be tired» . Some of these units remind the Passive Voice in their structure but they have different prepositions with them, while in the Passive Voice we can have only prepositions «by» or «with», e.g. to be tired of, to be interested in, to be surprised at etc. There are also units in this type which remind free word-groups of the type «to be young», e.g. to be akin to, to be aware of etc. The difference between them is that the adjective «young» can be used as an attribute and as a predicative in a sentence, while the nominal component in such units can act only as a predicative. In these units the verb is the grammar centre and the second component is the semantic centre;

c) Prepositional- nominal phraseological units. These units are equivalents of unchangeable words: prepositions, conjunctions, adverbs, that is why they have no grammar centre, their semantic centre is the nominal part, e.g^ . On the doorstep (quite near), on the nose (exactly), in the course of, on the stroke of, in time, on the point of etc. In the course of time such units can become words, e.g. tomorrow, instead etc.

Among two-top units A.I. Smirnitsky points out the following structural types:

a) attributive-nominal such as: a month of Sundays, grey matter, a millstone round one’s neck and many others. Units of this type are noun equivalents and can be partly or perfectly idiomatic. In partly idiomatic units (phrasisms) sometimes the first component is idiomatic, e.g. high road, in other cases the second component is idiomatic, e.g. first night. In many cases both components are idiomatic, e.g. red tape, blind alley, bed of nail, shot in the arm and many others.

b) verb-nominal phraseological units, e.g. to read between the lines , to speak BBC, to sweep under the carpet etc. The grammar centre of such units is the verb, the semantic centre in many cases is the nominal component, e.g. to fall in love. In some units the verb is both the grammar and the semantic centre, e.g. not to know the ropes. These units can be perfectly idiomatic as well, e.g. to burn one’s boats,to vote with one’s feet, to take to the cleaners’ etc.

Very close to such units are word-groups of the type to have a glance, to have a smoke. These units are not idiomatic and are treated in grammar as a special syntactical combination, a kind of aspect.

c) phraseological repetitions, such as : now or never, part and parcel , country and western etc. Such units can be built on antonyms, e.g. ups and downs , back and forth; often they are formed by means of alliteration, e.g cakes and ale, as busy as a bee. Components in repetitions are joined by means of conjunctions. These units are equivalents of adverbs or adjectives and have no grammar centre. They can also be partly or perfectly idiomatic, e.g. cool as a cucumber (partly), bread and butter (perfectly).

Phraseological units the same as compound words can have more than two tops (stems in compound words), e.g. to take a back seat, a peg to hang a thing on, lock, stock and barrel, to be a shaddow of one’s own self, at one’s own sweet will.

^ Syntactical classification of PU

Phraseological units can be classified as parts of speech. This classification was suggested by I.V. Arnold. Here we have the following groups:

a) noun phraseologisms denoting an object, a person, a living being, e.g. bullet train, latchkey child, redbrick university, Green Berets,

b) verb phraseologisms denoting an action, a state, a feeling, e.g. to break the log-jam, to get on somebody’s coattails, to be on the beam, to nose out , to make headlines,

c) adjective phraseologisms denoting a quality, e.g. loose as a goose, dull as lead ,

d) adverb phraseological units, such as : with a bump, in the soup, like a dream , like a dog with two tails,

e) preposition phraseological units, e.g. in the course of, on the stroke of ,

f) interjection phraseological units, e.g. «Catch me!», «Well, I never!» etc.

In I.V.Arnold’s classification there are also sentence equivalents, proverbs, sayings and quatations, e.g. «The sky is the limit», «What makes him tick», » I am easy». Proverbs are usually metaphorical, e.g. «Too many cooks spoil the broth», while sayings are as a rule non-metaphorical, e.g. «Where there is a will there is a way».

10. Semantic change.

The lexical meaning of a word can change in the course of time. Changes of lexical meanings can be proved by comparing contexts of different times. ^ Glad (OE) meant glad, bright SC is one of the most important ways of developing the vocabulary.

The causes of semantic changes can be extra-linguistic different kind of change in its culture, knowledge, technology, arts lead to gaps appearing in the voc. Newly created objects concepts & phenomena must be named. e.g. the change of the lexical meaning of the noun «pen» was due to extra-linguistic causes. Primarily « pen» comes back to the Latin word «penna» (a feather of a bird). Carriage – a vehicle drowned by horses/ a railway car. And linguistic, e.g. the conflict of synonyms when a perfect synonym of a native word is borrowed from some other language one of them may specialize in its meaning, e.g. the noun «tide» in Old English was polisemantic and denoted «time», «season», «hour». When the French words «time», «season», «hour» were borrowed into English they ousted the word «tide» in these meanings. It was specialized and now means «regular rise and fall of the sea caused by attraction of the moon». Also: Land and country..The meaning of a word can also change due to ellipsis, e.g. the word-group «a train of carriages» had the meaning of «a row of carriages», later on «of carriages» was dropped and the noun «train» changed its meaning, it is used now in the function and with the meaning of the whole word-group.

Semantic changes have been classified by different scientists. The most complete classification was suggested by a German scientist Herman Paul in his work «Prinzipien des Sprachgeschichte». It is based on the logical principle. He distiguishes two main ways where the semantic change is gradual ( specialization and generalization), two momentary conscious semantic changes (metaphor and metonymy) and also secondary ways: gradual (elevation and degradation), momentary (hyperbole and litote).

^ The process of SC. 2 types of transference are distinguishable and depend on the 3 types of logical associations. They are metaphor and metonymy.


It is a transfer of the meaning on the basis of comparison. Herman Paul points out that metaphor can be based on different types of similarity: a) similarity of shape, e.g. head (of a cabbage), bottleneck, teeth (of a saw, a comb);b) similarity of position, e.g. foot (of a page, of a mountain), head (of a procession); c) similarity of function, behaviour e.g. a whip (an official in the British Parliament whose duty is to see that members were present at the voting); d) similarity of colour, e.g. orange, hazel, chestnut etc.

In some cases we have a complex similarity, e.g. the leg of a table has a similarity to a human leg in its shape, position and function. Many metaphors are based on parts of a human body, e.g. an eye of a needle, arms and mouth of a river, head of an army. A special type of metaphor is when Proper names become common nouns, e.g. philistine - a mercenary person, vandals - destructive people, a Don Juan - a lover of many women etc.

Metonymy. It is a transfer of the meaning on the basis of contiguity. There are different types of metonymy: a) the material of which an object is made may become the name of the object , e.g. a glass, boards, iron etc; b) the name of the place may become the name of the people or of an object placed there, e.g. the House - members of Parliament, Fleet Street - bourgeois press, the White House - the Administration of the USA etc; c) names of musical instruments may become names of musicians, e.g. the violin, the saxophone; d) the name of some person may become a common noun, e.g. «boycott» was originally the name of an Irish family who were so much disliked by their neighbours that they did not mix with them, «sandwich» was named after Lord Sandwich who was a gambler. He did not want to interrupt his game and had his food brought to him while he was playing cards between two slices of bread not to soil his fingers. e) names of inventors very often become terms to denote things they invented, e.g. «watt» , «om», «rentgen» etc f) some geographical names can also become common nouns through metonymy, e.g. holland (linen fabrics), Brussels (a special kind of carpets) , china (porcelain) , astrachan ( a sheep fur) etc.

^ The results can be observed

- in the denotational meaning of the word (restriction (names for classes of animals:“deer” – earlier included all wild animals now only deer, “fowl” – earlier - birds in general now – poultry & wild fowl (дичь), a number of Anglo-Saxon words shrunk under the influence of Norman words: “pond” – from Latin “pontus” (sea or large stretch of water Due to its confrontation with word “lake” “pond” changed its meaning to “пруд”))and extension meaning It happens as a result of chance situations. The word “вокзал’ came to Russian from English word “Vauxhall” as the general name of all main railway stations. Now – автовокзал, ж/д вокзал, м/р вокзал) Changes in the denotational meaning may also result in the application of the word to a wider variety of referents: girl (ME) – child of either sex then the word underwent the process of transference based on continuity and developed the meaning – child of female the sex

- in the alteration of connotational component (amelioration knight – man servant – noble, courageous, accident (happened by chance) – accidental(“-“) and deterioration of meaning gossip – good parent – the one who talks scandals, silly-happy-foolish The second meaning developed “-“ evaluative connotation, which was absent in the first meaning).

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